One hour a month

Bud Emerson
Del Mar

I recently ran into an old friend raking leaves in her yard and I kidded her about using an old-fashioned implement instead of new gas-fired leaf blowers. She reminded me about a column I wrote a while back alerting the operators and ourselves how unhealthy these devices are to the health of all concerned. We lamented that it appears to have had little effect.

Bud Emerson

Her proposed solution was for Del Mar’s code enforcement officer to devote only one hour a month issuing tickets to all violators of our ordinance prohibiting leaf blowers, likely resulting in dramatic change within a short period of time, “just think only one hour a month, only one hour to achieve a major improvement in our community’s quality of life … one hour a month, one hour a month…”

As I walked on I began to think about her one-hour-a-month notion as a community building strategy. What if each one of us decided to devote one hour each month to enhancing the quality of our lives? Let’s start modestly with 1,000 citizens, times one hour, times 12 months. Wow! We are looking at 12,000 hours of human capital injected into our community.

Start with each council member knocking on doors, one-hour-a-month, asking what ideas you have for improving the town.

Our city manager knocking on doors, one-hour-a-month asking how we can improve how city hall operates.

Our sheriff lieutenant or deputy knocking on doors, one-hour-a-month asking how we can better police our streets and neighborhoods.

Each resident spends one-hour-a month phoning or knocking on doors of neighbors we don’t know, or perhaps lonely elders who would appreciate some simple conversation.

What if a local business operator spent one-hour-a-month knocking on doors, asking residents what products or services they would like to buy in Del Mar? That could well be the breakthrough we need to achieve our Community Plan’s vision of “resident-serving businesses.”

I remember my mother telling me to knock on the door of an elderly neighbor to see if I could rake leaves or carry out her trash cans. This was one of my first community building lessons, realizing that we should be looking out for our neighbors.

What was interesting for this youngster was not only how good it was to help someone else, but how good it made me feel about myself.
Del Mar is a very special place. One-hour-a-month could make it even better.

Thanks Zeus.

Related posts:

  1. Del Mar Union School District Board changes meetings to twice a month
  2. Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce names Trudy Synodis 'Member of the Month'
  3. Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce names Trudy Synodis ‘Member of the Month’
  4. Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce names J.P. Kehoe III ‘Member of the Month’
  5. Weekend events wrap up sustainability month in Solana Beach

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Feb 21, 2012. Filed under Bud's Corner, Columns, Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Rancho Santa Fe School to host several Common Core parent information sessions
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District is offering several upcoming information sessions for parents about the Common Core State Standards, which went into effect this fall. All of the information sessions will be held in the Performing Arts Center and will be followed by classroom tours. The dates include: • Sept. 23 at 8:05 a.m. K-5 mathematics curriculum ove […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe School’s Prop 39 projects moving forward
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District will take advantage of funding from Prop 39, the Clean Energy Jobs Act to help make its school more energy-efficient. […]
  • Traffic collision on La Granada in Rancho Santa Fe sends four to hospital
    On Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 2:34 p.m., firefighters from the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and Encinitas Fire Department responded to the report of a traffic collision on La Granada near the intersection of Rambla de las Flores. When they arrived on the scene, rescue crews found a mid-sized sedan and SUV had collided. Crews quickly worked to extricat […]